NEEDTOBREATHE effortlessly weaves together the musical traditions and faith of their upbringing in the Deep South to create music that uplifts and inspires. With Rivers in the Wasteland, NEEDTOBREATHE returns to their roots of anthemic rock and musical simplicity. The album features the sound of a band excited to reconnect with the idea of a fresh start, highlighted in songs like "Difference Maker," "Multiplied" and "Brother."
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NEEDTOBREATHE's best album| Posted April 09, 2014
NEEDTOBREATHE has very quickly become one of my all-time favorite bands because of how they are able to move me with such amazing and spiritual lyrics that truly reflect how I feel as a Christian. This album is all about the restoration of the band when their drummer Joe Stillwell quit, a response to the overwhelming tension brought on by touring and being thrust into the limelight with his fellow South Carolina natives and lifelong friends, Bear Rinehart, Bo Rinehart and Seth Bolt.
Their story is chronicled in the documentary film, Prove the Poets Wrong, drawn from the lyrics of their song "Drive All Night." NEEDTOBREATHE is getting back to their roots with Rivers in the Wasteland, based on Isaiah 43:19 (NLT): "For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."
Listening to "Wasteland" to open the 11-song collection, it's clear that the themes of relying on God's grace and mercy and seeking and speaking truth flows throughout this excellent album, highlighted by several of my new favorite songs, "Wasteland," "Difference Maker," "Rise Again" "The Heart," and "Multiplied." You'll be hooked right from the opening notes of "Wasteland," which really sets the tone for this album. As Christians, we can all relate to the vulnerable and sincere crying out: "In this wasteland where I'm livin', there's a crack in the door and it's filled with light, and it's all that I need to get by." That prayerful sentiment is punctuated in the chorus: "Oh if God, is on my side, Who could be against me?"
Fans of the band's trademark high energy live shows will flock to "State I'm In," "Feet Don't Fail Me Now," "Oh Carolina" and "The Heart." "Feet Don't Fail Me Now" is an incredible ZZ Top-style catchy song, with the band's trademark high octane musical pacing, and the message of the song is an autobiographical expression of the band's musical journey.
"Difference Maker" is a gorgeous, moving and encouraging song about knowing that God's plan is far greater than any success or failure. It is about the beauty of grace and having faith. Christians are called to be difference makers and friends of God. I get choked up singing: "Isn't it amazing how God can take a broken man, and let him find a fortune and then ruin it with his own two hands, and he climbs on up the hill on the Rock on which he stands, He looks back at the crowd he looks down at his hands and he says I am a Difference Maker, I am the only one who speaks to Him, and I am the friendliest of friends of God."
The emotional and uplifting "Rise Again" frames an incredible song of hope. I love the chorus: "I know I'm on the rise again, set my sights on where I'm going, and my goodbyes to where I've been, Oh, I know, I know I'm going to rise again, saying farewell to the king of the broken, so long my friend." Bear's vocals are emotive and honest, which makes the words he's singing all the more powerful and moving.
"The Heart" is a wonderful foot-stomping, show stopping anthem, where the band's full on ability to write a hook and sing about deep meaningful topics is on full display. You'll be belting out the words with the band, "Long live the heart, long live the soul, that knows what it wants, that piece you can find, that part is the whole, it never lets go." What's so cool about the song is how "piece you can find" sounds like "peace you can find" and depending on your situation you can apply either homonym into the chorus which is pure songwriting genius.
Closing tracks "Multiplied," "Brother" and "More Heart, Less Attack" are all beautiful songs, musically and perhaps even more so lyrically, reflecting the album's wide range of sounds and emotional expressions. The lyrics to "Multiplied" are prayerful and moving: "Your love is like radiant diamonds, Your love will surely come find us, like raging wild fire, singing your name, God of mercy, sweet Love of mine, I have surrendered to Your design...these Hallelujahs, be multiplied." The takeaway message of unity to the band and for all of us is found in the moving refrain, "Be more heart, and less attack." It's that range of songwriting that sets this album on the highest level for me, and is why they are my favorite band.
No matter your situation, this band has songs that can really bring healing and reflect the cry of your heart such as their Dove Award-winning songs, "Washed by the Water," "Lay 'Em Down" "Something Beautiful," "Slumber" and "Keep Your Eyes Open." As "Something Beautiful" reflects, sometimes we need to be on our knees in prayer and submission before God and cry out "Hey now, this is my desire, consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful." The band consistently makes songs that remind us to get to that place where we are in humble submission to God and don't play it safe but take a chance and ask for God to be real in our lives. You'll never see true beauty if you don't fully submit to God.
Rivers in the Wasteland is the best album I've heard this year. Every song is absolutely amazing. I can't get the catchy melodies of many of these songs out of my head. The album includes a solid mix of Southern rock tinged music with inspirational lyrics. Don't miss the standout songs "Wasteland," "Feet Don't Fail Me Now," "Difference Maker," "Rise Again," "The Heart," "Multiplied" and "More Heart, Less Attack." The very relatable and transparent words of these songs use poetic descriptions and biblical language throughout eleven stellar tracks, resulting in NEEDTOBREATHE's best album.
Song to Download First:
"Difference Maker" (Get it on iTunes here).
Please think critically| Posted April 22, 2014
First off, I am a huge fan of NeedToBreathe. Second of all, I have a BA in Communications in which I studied in extent the area of rhetorical analysis. With that being said, I have concluded that Bear is no longer following Jesus. I believe he is a talented, humble man who believes in a higher power, but not in that there is no other gospel other than Jesus. I believe he still wants to appeal to Christians though in order to reach their market. Here's why...
Wasteland-A song written while in a tough season of life, while simply only debating and wishing that God's promises are true.
State I'm in- This is a song of confusion and being lost.
Feet Don't Fail Me Now- He has a reason to be taken down and exposed, but no one has figured that out yet. "I would rather die than have to hang it up". I interpret this as he would rather not stand up for what he truly believes in than to not give his audience what they want.
Difference Maker- Verses & Chorus expose that his pride has destroyed what he has built. The chorus unsuccessfully uses the tool of irony(meaning he states the opposite of what he actually means) due to the fact that it has often been missed by his audience. While in attendance of their concert in Davis, CA he took a pause before the bridge to state that people were embracing the chorus as truth, and then explaining we are not difference makers. In a moment where the majority of the crowd expected him to preach the gospel of Christ, he went on to state on the topic of God that "there is no way to know any more than anyone else does", I infer from this statement that he believes there is no objective truth. He started another sentence, then stopped almost immediately, appearing as though he was wrestling with the decision of wether or not to state what he truly believes in and jeopardize losing the majority of his fan base, or to stay quiet in order not to, as well as to not offend anyone the thousands of people staring back at him. He went on to sing the bridge, "I am on the fence about nearly everything I've seen", a line that clearly declares a stance of agnosticism. "I have felt the fire that has been put out with too much gasoline", a line that states his fire has been put out. He has recently offered commentary on this song to appeal to Christians, but it is blatantly obvious to me what he truly is expressing through his music.
Rise Again- "Set my sights on where I'm going, and my goodbyes to where I've been" - Embracing his new beliefs, leaving his old behind. "Singing farewell King of the broken, So long my friend" -Sounds like a break up with Jesus, no?
The heart- "Goes where he wants never does get caught,
Pushing this line like the Lord ain't comin'" - He can write about whatever he wants, the Christian market tends not to question nor think for themselves, but rather accept what is given to them.
"Where the money is" - He knows the money is in the Christian market, but wishes it weren't. The guilt he feels for appealing to Christians for financial gain is the reason why he wishes he didn't know where the money lies.
Multiplied- A song meant to appeal to Christians. I believe he still believes in a higher power, the concept of God, but like he stated live in Davis, CA.. "there's no way to know about anything that is above you".
"More heart, less attack" - A call to all to live a life of love, not of attack. Assuming this is also directed at judgmental Christians, with the potential that he knowingly will eventually be attacked... He drank the water and felt his veins block. Sorry NeedToBreathe fans, but I don't think he's drinking the water anymore.